Top AM2+ Cooler?

I'm hoping to build a new system in a couple of months, using a shiny new AMD Phenom chip and will need a good cooler.
I have no budget for the build, but the more I want to spend the longer it'll take me to save ;).

I've looked at basic water cooling like the Big Water 760i, which some say does very well.. but others blame poor performance on the compact unit. I've also looked a little into building my own water system with custom blocks, pump etc and not buying a kit, but have strayed away from that slightly as this would be my first liquid-cooled build and god knows I'll kill something ;).

So then I'm back to air, and have seen some insane coolers over the last few months. The Scythe Orochi and Ninja 2 both look amazing, but are HUUGE coolers and I'm worried that I could spend £50 on a cooler only to find it's just too big for the case or something.

So my question is a) for the latest quad cores should I go with water or air cooling? and b) what cooler, kit or setup would you recommend?

Thanks (Y) :)
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  1. You don't need H2O if you don't overclock. If you want w/c, stay away from TT & Gigabyte w/c kits. They perform well, but may break down in 6-12 months. Consider this:

    http://www.swiftnets.com/products/h20-220-APEX.asp

    All you need is a large bottle of distilled water from a super market. Mix it with the green coolant in the photo. Best let it run outside the case with only a PSU for a few hours as a leak test.

    If you want to cool both cpu & gpu & chipset:

    http://www.swiftnets.com/products/H20-220-APEX-plus.asp
  2. I use a very big Scythe cooler on my AM2 box. The size of the heatsink is only an issue because I use reaper ram which have there own heat sinks, making them tall.

    If you avoid that problem, all will be well.
  3. Thanks for your comments.
    I've actually seen the kits you've suggested n3f0ur before, but will have a closer look at them. I've seen several external kits which clip onto the rear case fan which I will look into as I will be overclocking (i'm hoping to buy a chip close to 2.5GHz and push for 3GHz).

    I don't want GPU cooling etc as I'm buying two GV1000's for my 9800GT's when I get them. Just the CPU to be cooled.
  4. acer0169 said:
    Thanks for your comments.
    I've actually seen the kits you've suggested n3f0ur before, but will have a closer look at them. I've seen several external kits which clip onto the rear case fan which I will look into as I will be overclocking (i'm hoping to buy a chip close to 2.5GHz and push for 3GHz).

    I don't want GPU cooling etc as I'm buying two GV1000's for my 9800GT's when I get them. Just the CPU to be cooled.


    looking to get a 2.5 to 3ghz I'd say the stock cooler should work fine, better if you use a good thermal compound.

    with such a mild OC goal just about any cooler should do fine, just check the reviews to make sure they cool better than stock.
  5. With 3GHz a stock cooler would be fine. Anything higher would require aftermaket cooling options.
  6. I don't even use a stock cooler on my current dual core. I like keeping all temps low, even if they are perfectly stable when high. Regardless, anyone have any further thoughts about cooling options?
  7. A bunch of fans...maybe a new case with a bunch of fans!! I have the NZXT Zero with about 8 fans...talk about overkill on air LOL ^_^
  8. Hehe, my current setup also has 8 fans :].
  9. You can actually get faster fans too...but you would have to be careful on the noise levels. The stock fans i got are very silent, but then again the work at very decent speeds. Changing the air flow in the case is a major +1. I have had mine coming in from top to bottom, and then changed it from bottom to top, and now i have it coming out the top and bottom front. That air flow works flawless for me.

    Also, having it in a cooler spot works (i.e. near a window or sliding door) with plenty of space. Case is too big to fit in a work desk LOL...so full towers are +1 too ^_^
  10. I'm buying the new spedo case for this build.. along with a few more powerful fans. I use several 120mm Antec 3-speed fans, I don't mind about noise when the airflow they push is as high as it is.

    I just know my current CPU cooler would not hold up against overclocking and gaming on a quad core when already my CPU can hit 55C-60C with a dual core.

    I'm still looking into water cooling, it's new and scary but I like scaring myself with new builds. Each time going one step further and there's few steps bigger than that.

    Would love to hear some peoples custom water setups and temps.
  11. For water cooling, i would look into Asetek!! They have a pre-built system that you won't need to mess with, just install in your case and off you go. Also, Noctua and Zalman are bada**
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